Nicole Girard 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Diana I. Rader & Tiffani E. Lucero of Rader Lucero, PLLC Cooperation Depending on how it’s viewed, the partnership between attorneys Diana I. Rader and Tiffani E. Lucero can either be attributed to a happy case of serendipity, or the cosmic forces of destiny. Rader and Lucero first became acquainted in 2006 as they were battling it out from opposing sides of a high-conflict divorce. Despite the turmoil that all-too-often accompanies marital dissolution cases; the lawyers were pleased to discover that a heightened propensity to collaborate seemed to exist naturally between them. They were able to shepherd their parties into an almost complete sense of amicability… Almost. “We resolved our clients’ disputes over assets, child custody, and retirement accounts, but we soon realized both our clients were entrenched in fighting over personal property. As lawyers we talked about the importance of giving our clients the perspective they can lose when dealing with the end of a marriage.” Lucero said. The two attorneys learned very quickly that they could work together, even if their clients could not. Diana Rader and Tiffani Lucero continue to employ the philosophy that working together is important to resolution, but both attorneys prepare their clients for trial when it becomes apparent that settlement is not likely to be obtained. Compatibility Lucero started her career as a prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. She left that role to pursue a practice in family law, an area of law that was always of interest to her. Rader began her career in a small firm that handled civil and commercial litigation, and zoning work, as well as family law. It wasn’t long before she found herself migrating toward family law. “For every zoning case I received, I would get four or five divorce cases,” she said. “If you’re passionate about your practice, they keep coming.” Rader later managed the family law practice as a shareholder at one of Arizona’s large, leading law firms. Both were raised in Arizona and remain steadfast in their loyalty to their communities. Both are married and have young families. Rader has three young children at home, while Lucero has two. Rader was born in Mexico, but was raised in Arizona since she was a small child. Her husband, Mike Rader, relocated to the Valley by way of Michigan. “We fell in love in Arizona and decided we’d raise our family here and never leave,” she said. Both Lucero and her husband; attorney Robert E. Pastor, are native Arizonans with roots that go back to the early days of statehood. Having both grown up in Arizona, the attorneys feel their place of origin gives them a competitive edge. “My husband and I both grew up in Arizona. This is our home and we are going to continue to invest in our community which includes investing in relationships with other lawyers,” Lucero said. “Whether it is a custody evaluator or an opposing lawyer, I’ve learned that when trying to resolve disputes that are packed with emotion, the ability to establish a relationship and find common ground is critical. If you cannot do that with opposing counsel, it will be difficult for our clients to find common ground in order to resolve their case.” As a testament to their devotion to the Valley, both Lucero and Rader’s backgrounds are flush with years of volunteer work. For the past decade, Rader has donated her time to the Partners for Paiute Legal Assistance Center. In addition, she’s volunteered for the Family Lawyers Assistance Project, and served as president of the Scottsdale Bar Association. Lucero serves as vice-president on the board of directors for Phoenix Day; the oldest, continuously operating early education and youth development center in Arizona. She also volunteers with Legal Assistance to Women in Shelters (LAWS). Family Law Focus “We want to have balance and control in our lives, our professions and our future,” Lucero said. “Our personalities, while different, are similarly very driven and very goal-oriented.” There are striking likenesses between the young attorneys— both of whom are in their thirties—to be sure. Rader and Lucero were the only two lawyers at their previous firm doing family law. They feel the narrow focus of their practice allows them to stay on the cutting edge of the latest updates in statutes and case law. After three and a half years of successful collaboration, they made the joint decision to go it alone. “Personally and professionally it was something we always wanted to do,” Lucero said. “And we complemented each other so well that we decided to start our own firm.” They wanted a boutique law firm dedicated to providing justice and peace to families in turmoil. The result was the Paradise Valley-based law firm of Rader Lucero, PLLC. They were able to retain their clients through the transition to their new firm, and within the first year, Rader Lucero had grown to include three lawyers and five employees. Their brand of sharp, aggressive representation enables them to service a variety of clients in family law matters. Whether their client is a professional athlete, a medical professional, or a survivor of domestic violence, both Diana Rader and Tiffani Lucero say they are committed to helping their clients protect and preserve their home, business, retirement, and what they love most – their families. Mediations While the bulk of the firm’s business is in litigation, the family law attorneys have superior alternative dispute resolution tools at their disposal. The Honorable Richard J. Trujillo, serves as an of counsel member of the firm. He applies his experience as a mediator in civil litigation matters. Trujillo, also a long-time Arizona resident, received his Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University in 1970. With an excellent record of serving as both sole practitioner and firm partner in civil, criminal and family law, he was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court bench by Governor Jane Dee Hull in 2001. “He has enhanced our busy family law practice. In addition to his guidance, he’s added a criminal law and personal injury practice, as well as a mediation component,” Rader said. “It is wonderful to have him as a mentor and he’s huge asset to our firm.” As a judge, Trujillo presided over 94 criminal and civil jury trials which included charges of child molestation/abuse, first degree murder, felony murder, and wrongful death. Trujillo is also currently serving as the Hopi Nation Chief Judge. In this role, Trujillo is assisting in the systematic reform of the Hopi Nation justice system. He plays an integral role in the Hopi Nation’s adoption of a new criminal code, making that tribe a leader in criminal prosecution among tribes. Hablamos Espanol “Something unique about us as a law firm practicing mostly in the area of family law is that we have lawyers and staff who speak Spanish,” Lucero said. “It’s a niche we have come to realize we fit into. Our referral sources are comforted knowing that their Spanish-speaking clients will receive the highest level of representation.” Rader and Lucero have found there to be an abundance of firms and lawyers that want to refer clients to lawyers who can “not only give sound advice and perspective, but a lawyer who can go to trial when needed,” Lucero said. The attorneys at Rader Lucero have the combined expertise to serve a varied client base. Currently their list of clients includes people from all walks of life, from doctors, business owners, and pro-athletes to victims of domestic violence. “Diana and I have very different approaches that complement each other,” Lucero said. “We balance each other,” Lucero said. “It’s our uniquely collaborative approach that makes us so effective in obtaining justice for our clients.” They’ve found they are most effective when consulting with one another on strategy pertaining to their own individual cases. They enjoy regular referrals from colleagues and former clients which make up the bulk of their business and their firm continues to grow. While they enjoyed all their previous professional experiences, the two lawyers wanted to build a firm that allowed them to continue to provide excellent representation for their diverse client base and that would also provide them with personal control of their professional future. “Building our firm the way we have has allowed us to do just that,” Rader said.
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